Band of Brothers, subtitled, E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne: From Normandy to Hitler”s Eagle”s Nest, by Stephen E. Ambrose is an examination of a parachute infantry company in the 101st Airborne Division in the European Theater during World War II. While the book treats the flow of battle, it concentrates on the lives of the soldiers in and associated with the company.
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The book rests upon interviews Ambrose conducted with former members of E Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. The veterans were having a reunion at a hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana; the interviews were conducted as part of a project to collect oral histories of D-Day for the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans. Ambrose was intrigued with the bond which had developed among the members of “Easy” company. He circulated his drafts among the surviving members of the company, asking for input, and then incorporating their ideas into later drafts. Ambrose said of the finished product, “we have come as close to the true story of Easy Company as possible.”
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The book consists of a foreword, epigraph and a maps section, followed by eighteen chapters. There is an afterward and a brief author”s bio after the chapters.
Following the table of contents, the book”s dedication reads:
To all those members of the Parachute Infantry United States Army, 1941-1945 who wear the Purple Heart not as a decoration but as a badge of office.
The epigraph is a quotation from Shakespeare”s Henry V, from which the title of the book is derived:
From this day to the ending of the World, …we in it shall be remembered …we band of brothers.
The chapters are:
One – “We Wanted Those Wings”; Camp Toccoa, July-December 1942 Two – “Stand Up and Hook Up”; Benning, Mackall, Bragg, Shanks, December 1942-September 1943 Three – “Duties of the Latrine Orderly”; Aldbourne, September 1943-March 1944 Four – “Look Out Hitler! Here We Come!”; Slapton Sands, Uppottery, April 1 – June 5, 1944 Five – “Follow Me”; Normandy, June 6, 1944 Six – “Move Out!”; Carentan, June 7 – July 12, 1944 Seven – Healing Wounds and Scrubbed Missions; Aldbourne, July 13 – September 16, 1944 Eight – “Hell”s Highway”; Holland, September 17 – October 1, 1944 Nine – The Island; Holland, October 2 – November 25, 1944 Ten – Resting, Recovering, and Refitting; Mourmelon-le-Grand, November 26 – December 18, 1944 Eleven – “They Got Us Surrounded–The Poor Bastards”; Bastogne, December 19-31, 1944 Twelve – The Breaking Point; Bastogne, January 1-13, 1945 Thirteen – Attack; Noville, January 14-17, 1945 Fourteen – The Patrol; Haguenau, January 18 – February 23, 1945 Fifteen – “The Best Feeling in the World”; Mourmelon, February 25 – April 2, 1945 Sixteen – Getting to Know the Enemy; Germany, April 2-30, 1945 Seventeen – Drinking Hitler”s Champagne; Berchtesgaden, May 1-8, 1945 Eighteen – “The Soldier”s Dream Life”; Austria, May 9 – July 31, 1945 Nineteen – “Postwar Careers”; 1945-1991
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